Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has named President Paul Kagame of Rwanda the ‘digital President’.
Toure said that he named the president, because he is one of the leaders who dared to dream, shared their dreams with their people and it became a vision.
Dr. Toure made the statements at the ongoing four-days TransformAfrica2013 ICT summit, which has brought together seven presidents among many other dignitaries.
The presidents are; Paul Kagame (host), Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Salva Kirr of South Sudan, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, and other 1, 500 delegates at the summit.
Dr. Toure also said that the summit is vital for Africans to come up with concrete measures of building their future on ICT and said it is time to move from mobile revolution to broadband revolution
In his remarks President Kagame stated that a digital revolution is underway and has power to transform society.
“We are here from all sectors to forge partnerships that will benefit all our people. Success belongs to those who can innovate and those who seize the available opportunities
Kagame said that ICT has the potential to boost the economy and to improve the living standards of the people and leaders want to equip the African youth with these technologies to accelerate development.
He also noted that it’s not just about making commitments, but about giving ICT its rightful place in Africa’s development
President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that ICT is not a luxury, but a tool for transformation. While President Bongo noted that it is important for us to wake up and make this dream come true. “We are here because we have a vision and we have resolution to implement…but we need your help,” he said.
President Museveni of Uganda underlined that ICT must be integrated with the whole economy and with all sectors including agriculture, industry and services.
Hong Jin Kim, President of G&E Group, Korea Telecom, explained using South Korea’s example that for ICT to enable development on the African continent, governments and the private sector needs to look internally for solutions and strive to be self-reliant.
“Leaders need to be creative so that ICT enables the national agenda.”
At the summit Rwanda launched the Transform Africa Manifesto- which underlines the commitment of each stakeholder in making ICT the new driving force towards Africa’s development in the post 2015. It also launched the 4G LTE Broadband technology as fast as 150Mbits per second. 4G beats 3G in live testing.
At the end of this summit (October 31), the leaders will be able to discuss the challenges and opportunities to be tapped into to continue driving Africa’s socio-economic transformation.
The outcome of the summit shall be a declaration to leverage achievements in ICT to deliver Africa’s future by driving socio-economic development across the continent.
At the launch of the Transform Africa Manifesto, Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said that a new chapter begins for Africa. “We have come together to make a historic statement. Africa is not playing catch up game; Africa wants to be in the lead”